Thanksgiving Shopping: Brands Justify Opening/Closing for Black Friday

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black fridayAmericans love the quiet comfort of Thanksgiving, a family tradition of food and relaxation inaugurating the holiday season. In the race to capitalize on the increasing commercialization of the holidays, Black Friday and Gray Thursday (an addition to the consumerist lexicon that we're just getting used to) have sent more Americans to work on Thanksgiving, in both early morning and late night store openings.

Opening on Thanksgiving is obviously lucrative—otherwise nobody would do it. According to Accenture, 66 percent of the country is likely to shop on Black Friday. But it can also become a public relations disaster, creating resentful employees and turning family-minded people into scornful ex-customers.

Here's a list of some companies who are open and closed on Thanksgiving along with their justifications and plans:

CLOSED:

  • Costco. "Our employees work especially hard during the holiday season, and we simply believe they deserve the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with their families. Nothing more complicated than that," a spokesperson told Think Progress.
  • BJ's Wholesale Club. "I’m proud that BJ’s Clubs are, once again, closed on Thanksgiving, allowing our Team Members to enjoy the holiday. We always must balance what is best for our Team Members with our sales goals," Laura Sen, president and CEO of BJ’s Wholesale Club said in a statement.
  • Nordstrom. "As is our tradition, our Nordstrom stores will be closed on Thanksgiving," a spokeswoman told Think Progress.
  • Barnes & Noble. "We will be closed Thanksgiving Day, November 27 so that our booksellers can be with their family and friends," the book store wrote on its website.

OPEN:

  • Starbucks. "Starbucks stores are a gathering place for the entire community and customers use our stores to connect over coffee in different ways every day," a spokeswoman told The Huffington Post. "We are very happy to welcome customers on Thanksgiving in select store locations."
  • Walmart. Employees "get excited" to work Black Friday sales, explained Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer at Walmart U.S. "The associates really, really like being there," he added.
  • Kmart. "Continuing a 23-year tradition as a destination for early-bird shopping and last-minute entertaining needs on Thanksgiving, will open for 42 hours straight, from 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving to midnight on Black Friday," the company said in a statement.
  • Best Buy. "While we recognize the decision to open on Thanksgiving affects Best Buy employees, customers have made it clear that many of them want to begin shopping on Thanksgiving evening," the company explained in a lengthy statement.

Follow Brian Greene on Twitter: @bw_greene